/ 25 June 2007

SA beat Ireland by 42 runs

South Africa beat Ireland by 42 runs in a one-day international at Stormont on Sunday. Australian-born Alex Cusask took three wickets on his one-day international debut as Ireland held South Africa to 173 for four in a match reduced by rain to 31 overs per side.

The 26-year-old all-rounder, recently qualified for his adopted country, took three for 15 in four overs to restrict the Proteas, who had been on course for a score in excess of 200.

Morne van Wyk’s maiden one-day international fifty was the centrepiece of South Africa’s total.

South Africa, after being sent in by Ireland captain Trent Johnston, saw Van Wyk (52) and AB de Villiers (40) put on 75 for the first wicket.

This was only van Wyk’s second one-day international debut, his appearance coming four years after a debut against England at Lord’s.

Medium-pacer Cusack, the seventh bowler used, removed Van Wyk, had Herschelle Gibbs caught by Northamptonshire wicketkeeper Niall O’Brien for just two and dimissed Proteas skipper Jacques Kallis for 46.

Roger Whelan, who bowled Sachin Tendulkar with his sixth ball on debut during Saturday’s nine-wicket defeat against India at Stormont, made the breakthrough when De Villiers, who played for Irish club Carrickfergus, played a lofted drive to extra cover where Cusack, running in from the boundary, held a good low catch.

South Africa were now 75 for one in the 13th overs.

Van Wyk, who played for Belfast club Instonians, kept the scoreboard ticking over and completed his fifty in 81 balls with five fours.

Kallis then opened up by lofting Andrew White for a straight six.

But a stand of 61 was ended when Van Wyk, on 52, chipped medium-pacer Cusack to Johnston at mid-wicket.

Then Gibbs’s exit left South Africa 147 for three in the 28th over.

Cusack had his third wicket when Kallis skied to Kevin O’Brien at cover.

Ireland made one change to Saturday’s side, Cusack replacing Gary Wilson.

South Africa handed one-day international debuts to Vernon Philander, on the all-rounder’s 22nd birthday, and off-spinner Thandi Tshabalala.

This was South Africa’s first one-day international since a seven-wicket World Cup semifinal defeat against eventual champions Australia in St Lucia in April.

That month also saw South Africa beat Ireland in the World Cup, the Proteas winning by seven wickets in Georgetown, Guyana.

South Africa’s team contained six survivors from the side that played in Georgetown and Ireland’s five.

For this match South Africa were captained by all-rounder Kallis with regular skipper Graeme Smith recovering from knee surgery in South Africa.

Fast bowler and former skipper Shaun Pollock had been rested from the trip to Ireland while batsman Ashwell Prince had been dropped.

All-rounder Andrew Hall was mourning the death of a family friend.

South Africa are due to play India in three one-day internationals at Stormont on Tuesday, Friday and Sunday. – Sapa-AFP